There's nothing like a good night's rest, and going through days, weeks, months without one can be torture. Your workflow, your energy levels, your social life all lag if you aren't clocking consistent quality sleep. In America today the number of young adults seeking sleeping pills and other aids is staggering and also unhealthy. Sleeping pills and the like tend to create dependency and fail to solve the root cause of poor sleep. So here are some simple and easily implemented hacks that can help you ride the waves of your body's natural energy cycles better and sleep like a champ. Who wants to be better at sleeping? I know I do.
Proper Nap Time
During the course of the day our bodies hit a natural energy plateau. That means daily around 1-3 we start to feel pooped. It's apart of the bodies natural rhythm and if you must nap, this is the optimal time of the day for it. A quick 15-30 minute nap will revitalize your life and put you into high gear for the second half of the day. And for my coffee drinkers who'd like an added boost, try a little coffee before your nap, the caffeine takes about 20 minutes to kick into action, so you'll arise from your nap with an extra kick.
Clear Your Mind
How many of us have found ourselves laying in the bed with our minds racing too fast to actual enter into a restful state of mind? Two to three hours before bed, start to let go of the day. Leave the office at the office. Your bed is your sanctuary. A very powerful hack is to write down whatever is worrying you before falling asleep - expressing gratitude that your mind will find a solution through the night, then rest easy. This technique has helped people sleep with peaceful minds since antiquity.
Watch What You Eat
While diet is important all the time, particularly for a good nights rest you should be mindful of your intake. Try not to eat super heavy foods right before bedtime. The digestive system uses a large amount of active energy in the body in order to break down foods and disperse nutrients. It's like having an active system going on in your body while you're also telling it to rest. A nice filling meal a few hours for bed - and once your body is finished it's digestive work, it will be nice and tired, and prepared to enter that restful state.
Regular exercise is clutch, and helps keep the body balanced. Be wary of exercising too near to bedtime however as the post work out energy boost will do more to keep you awake than put you to sleep. Use that post energy boost to kickass before bedtime and then you'll be nice and puckered out. Light mind-body activities like tai chai and nighttime yoga routines are also really great ways of diffusing energy, and relaxing the muscles in preparation for sleep mode.
Lights Out, Power Off
Do all you can to create a pitch black and quiet undisturbed sleep environment. All the little lights from your electronics actually interfere with your sleep. Cover the digital display of your alarm clock, cable box, or dvd player, etc. Even turning your cell phone off for the night is suggested. Aside from its rings, dings, vibrations, and lights - studies show that EMFs emitted from your cellular devices disrupts sleep patterns.
Keeping the bedroom between 67-72 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal. Too hot or too cool and the body cannot properly enter and maintain sleep mode as it also undergoes the restorative processes of rebuilding your body. Fresh clean bedding also promotes a cool clean happy sleeping feel.
What To Do If You Wake Up in the Middle of the Night
Its not unnatural for people to wake up in the middle of the night, and it's something you shouldn't fight. Back in older times we held two sleep sessions - one earlier and one later. The time in between these sleep sessions would be used for such great undertakings as reading, having sex, thinking, writing. These are the golden hours so seize them. This promotes a very healthy and satisfied second round of sleep. Remember the aim is also the quality and restorative depth of the sleep, not just the number of hours.
When you take out a loan for a car, charge something to your credit card, or get a personal line of credit, there is going to be an interest rate that applies to your loan.
A lot of different factors go into what you will be charged, including your own personal credit score. But even those with flawless credit still see a minimum charge that they can't get around. That all goes back to the Federal Funds Rate.
One thing consumers rarely realize is that all of our banks are lending money to each other every night. Banks are legally required to maintain a certain percentage of their deposits in non-interest-bearing accounts at the Federal Reserve to ensure they have enough money to cover any withdrawals that may unexpectedly come up. However, deposits can fluctuate and it's very common for some banks to exceed the requirement on certain days while some fall short. In cases like this, banks actually lend each other money to ensure they meet the minimum balance. It's a bit hard to imagine these multibillion-dollar financial institutions needing to borrow money to tide them over for a bit, but it happens every single night at the Federal Reserve. It's also a nice deal for those with balances above the reserve balance requirement to earn a bit of money with cash that would normally just be sitting there.
The Federal Reserve
The exact interest rate the banks will charge each other is a matter of negotiation between them, but the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) (the arm of the Federal Reserve that sets monetary policy) meets eight times a year to set a target rate. They evaluate a multitude of economic indicators including unemployment, inflation, and consumer confidence to decide the best rate to keep the country in business. The weighted average of all interest rates across these interbank loans is the effective federal funds rate.
This rate has a huge impact on the economy overall as well as your personal finances. The federal funds rate is essentially the cheapest money available to a bank and that feeds into all of the other loans they make. Banks will add a slight upcharge to the rate set by the Fed to determine what is the lowest interest that they will announce for their most creditworthy customers, also known as the prime rate. If you have a variable interest rate loan (very common with credit cards and some student loans), it's likely that the interest rate you pay is a set percentage on top of that prime rate that your lender is paying. That's why in times of low interest rates (it was set at 0% during the Great Recession), a lot of borrowers should go for fixed interest rate loans that won't increase. However, if the federal funds rate was relatively high (it went up to 20% in the early 1980's), a variable interest rate loan may be a better decision as you would be charged less interest should the rate drop without the need to refinance.
The federal funds rate also has a major impact on your investment portfolio. The stock market reacts very strongly to any changes in interest rates from the Federal Reserve, as a lower rate makes it cheaper for companies to borrow and reinvest while a higher rate may restrict capital and slow short-term growth. If you have a significant portion of your investments in equities, a small change in the federal funds rate can have a large impact on your net worth.
Whether you're leaving a job involuntarily, departing for something new, or just want to prepare for the unknown, it is smart to understand all your options regarding your 401k.
Frugal gifting often gets a bad reputation. However, this shopping method does not make you cheap — it makes you practical. Frugal gifts often avoid waste and overspending and can be just as meaningful (if not more so) as any other present.
With the National Retail Federation predicting each consumer this holiday season to spend upwards of $1,000 on holiday gifts amidst an economic recession —this year might be the perfect time to reconsider your spending budget. We've formulated the ultimate list of frugal gift-giving ideas to get you started.